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The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

League meetings focus on Ramsey County Plan

Ramsey County has ambitious goals; to cultivate prosperity and combat concentrated areas of poverty.  Achieving these goals will require collaboration of individuals and groups, Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire said at our February 17th and 18th unit meetings.Ryan and Mary Jo

McGuire introduced Ryan O'Connor, Director of Policy Analysis and Planning for the county, who lead us through an engagind presentation on Ramsey County's long-term plan at the Tuesday evening meeting.

"Our county has the highest number of poverty concentrations in Minnesota", O'Connor stated.  Ramsey County is working multi-jurisdictionally with a three-pronged approach.

First, a big challenge is to eliminate disparities in education and training in our dense, racially diverse population.  Ramsey County is already as diverse as the entire seven-county metro area is projected to be in 2030.

Second, we are the odd man out in having only five percent of the region's land but 20 percent of the population.  Our land is highly developed and heavy on non-taxable land and residential use, so we must change the way we develop the developable land remaining.

Third, we are one of two major employment centers in our region and have the highest density of jobs.  we must use this fact to promote transit connecting workers with jobs.  Fifty percent of the people who ride the bus are 100 percent transit dependent, which impacts things like who can work overtime.

Both McGuire and O'Connor stressed that we're in a better place than we've ever been in terms of engaging our communities on transit. "We all need to speak loud and clear to keep this conversation going.  We've made over 200 presentations - to every city council and school board in the county, plus churches and community groups.  "We at the county can't do this alone.  Help us spread the word."  McGuire concluded.


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January 7, 2015